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Greens want to significantly reduce voting barriers for small parties | Free press

Small parties must collect signatures in order to run in the federal election – but that is hardly possible in the pandemic. The Greens fear that the coalition can “sit out” the problem.

Berlin (dpa) – The Greens want to significantly lower entry barriers to federal elections for smaller parties by law.

A draft amendment to the federal electoral law, which they intend to introduce to the Bundestag this week, provides for a reduction in the number of required supporters’ signatures to 30 percent of its current value. In this way, equal opportunities must be created in pandemic times.

“Freedom of choice must also be guaranteed in times of the corona pandemic. It is a matter of fairness that parties not yet represented in parliaments should participate in the federal elections, ”said Britta Haßelmann, the first parliamentary director of the Green Group, of the German press agency in Berlin. She pointed out that it would be difficult to collect the necessary signatures under pandemic circumstances.

Usually the smaller parties do this mainly at information stands in pedestrian zones, which is currently hardly possible. For this reason, the Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP), among others, has already filed a lawsuit including an urgent application to the Federal Constitutional Court.

Before the most recent state elections in Baden-Württemberg, the constitutional court forced parliament to halve the required number of signatures. However, the Constitutional Court in Berlin stated that a 50 percent cut by parliament was insufficient. In mid-March, it proposed a 20 to 30 percent cut from its previously customary value.

“We cannot accept that the coalition will take the issue off your hands, is unable to act because of the SPD’s opposition and that parliament will not take a decision on this issue,” said Haßelmann. “The legislator must be able to resolve this problem quickly before the Federal Constitutional Court takes a decision. Anyone who works here as the coalition obviously no longer has any creative rights. ‘

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